In 1983 after Anthony Kiedis, Michael Balzary & Hillel Slovak recruited drummer Jack Irons it led to the formation of the band Tony Flow & the Miraculously Majestic Masters of Mayhem. The quartet played their first gig at Rhythm Room in Los Angeles on either February 13th or 17th in 1983 and then reportedly played that very same venue a few more times.
A few weeks later on March 5, 1983 they played their first show under their new name Red Hot Chili Peppers at The Cathay de Grande in Hollywood. Leading of course to the question, what does the name Red Hot Chili Peppers mean???
According to Anthony Kiedis’ autobiography, “Scar Tissue”:
“We started going through these huge laundry lists of idiotic, meaningless, boring names. To this day both Tree and Flea claim they came up with the Red Hot Chili Peppers. It’s a derivation of a classic old-school American blues or jazz name. There was Louis Armstrong with his Hot Five, and also other bands that had “Red Hot” this or “Chili” that. There was even an English band that was called Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers, who later thought we had stolen their name. But no one had ever been the Red Hot Chili Peppers, a name that would forever be a blessing and a curse.”
The aforementioned, “Chilli Willi and the Red Hot Peppers” were one of the main British pub rock groups of the early 1970s. They released 2 albums, “Kings of the Robot Rhythm” (1972) and “Bongos Over Balham” (1974), which sold poorly and the band split in 1975.
It’s crazy that even with a weird random name like Red Hot Chili Peppers it still almost got them in trouble. Did you know Nirvana had to cut a deal with two other bands using that name before they released “Nevermind”? Click link or photo below to find out.